Supreme Court Likely to Keep Trump on 2024 Ballot
Conservative and Liberal Justices Unite in Favor of Trump
In a case that places them at the center of a presidential election, the Supreme Court appears poised to reject attempts to remove former President Donald Trump from the 2024 ballot. This definitive ruling would effectively put an end to efforts in Colorado, Maine, and other states to prevent Trump’s name from appearing on the ballot. The court is expected to act quickly, potentially before Super Tuesday on March 5, when several states, including Colorado and Maine, hold their primaries.
Congressional Action and Constitutional Provisions
The main concern raised by the justices during the arguments was whether Congress must intervene before states can invoke Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. This provision, adopted after the Civil War, aims to prevent former officeholders who “engaged in insurrection” from holding office again. The justices questioned whether the provision applies to the president and whether it requires congressional action. They were in search of a consensus ruling that would avoid becoming the final arbiter of a political dispute.
Avoiding a Single State’s Power to Decide
During the proceedings, Justice Elena Kagan raised an important question: “Why should a single state decide who gets to be president of the United States?” This concern resonated with the justices, with eight out of nine expressing openness to some of the arguments made by Jonathan Mitchell, Trump’s lawyer. If the court finds just one of those arguments persuasive, Trump could potentially win his case.
Trump’s Response and Potential Emergency Orders
After the Supreme Court arguments, Trump expressed satisfaction with the proceedings. He called it “a beautiful thing to watch,” while also expressing frustration with the case being brought against him. Trump may return to the Supreme Court soon to seek an emergency order to keep his election subversion trial on hold so he can appeal lower-court rulings that he is not immune from criminal charges.
Implications for Future Candidates
Chief Justice John Roberts raised concerns about the consequences of ruling against Trump, suggesting that it could set a precedent for disqualifying other candidates. Trump’s lawyers argued that the 14th Amendment cannot be used to keep him off the ballot, citing reasons such as the Capitol riot not constituting an insurrection and the amendment’s exclusion of the presidency and candidates running for president. They also contended that Congress must pass legislation to invoke Section 3.
Opposing Arguments and Constitutional Crisis
On the other hand, the lawyers for Republican and independent voters who sued to remove Trump’s name from the ballot provided ample evidence of the Capitol attack being an insurrection incited by Trump. They argued that it would be absurd to exempt the presidency from Section 3 and that enabling legislation is unnecessary. The court could either uphold the Colorado decision, effectively declaring that Trump engaged in insurrection and is barred from holding office, or opt for a less conclusive outcome.
Supreme Court’s Familiarity with Trump-related Cases
The justices, three of whom were appointed by Trump, have previously considered many Trump-related cases, rejecting claims of election fraud and refusing to shield his tax records. Apart from the election dispute, the court will also hear an appeal related to the Capitol riot charges in April. The outcome of these cases has the potential to impact Trump’s campaign and the broader political landscape.
Read More of this Story at apnews.com – 2024-02-08 21:47:00
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